EU economists are largely optimistic about the effects of the Russian natural gas sanction, while EU officials are less enthusiastic.

Earlier this week, the EU banned imports of Russian oil arriving by sea in retaliation for the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Some believe a natural gas ban should be the next step, such as Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas. However, Ms Kallas told the FinancialTimes he doesn’t think such a sanction will realistically materialize, as officials have downplayed the prospect.

European economists, however, seem to agree that imposing a high tariff on Russian natural gas would be an effective sanction against Russia without causing major disruption to the EU. According to the weighted results of the recent survey by the Initiative on Global Market, 75% of European economists agree or strongly agree with such a decision.

“It would reduce the money going to Russia, mitigate the damage to European economies and potentially provide funds for Ukraine’s reconstruction,” said Franklin Allen, professor and assistant dean at Imperial College London.

Among uncertain economists there were concerns about the effectiveness of such a tariff and whether it would provoke Russia: “Russia is likely to retaliate and cut off gas supplies to Europe,” a said Beata Javorcik, professor of economics at Oxford University.